Lots of business advice centers around what to do- I know, I give a lot of it myself!
Sometimes, however it is also good to know what not to do. Not doing something can be called inaction or laziness in some cases but in others it can be a very course of action.
The following article has three different examples of what not to do as a small business and I can personally attest, and you may as well, that they are definitely things to remember to avoid doing to yourself and your business in the year to come.
If you have already fallen into one or more of these traps and need help resolving the issue, give us a call and we’d be happy to walk you through some possible solutions and ways out. Bookkeeping is only part of what we do- our overall mission is to help small business owners create better businesses. Fixing problems like this definitely falls within that mission!
Not Hiring Smart
There are indications that small businesses will start to hire again this coming year. After working with little or no staff, many entrepreneurs find themselves in need of an extra set of hands to grow to the next level.
Not knowing exactly how to find the right employee, many owners resort to hiring a friend or a family member. (Big red flag!) Typically, your family and friends don’t have the skills, experience or dedication you need to really grow your business. If and when it doesn’t work out, it can ruin the friendship and harm family relationships.
Friends and family members often have good intentions when they want to join your team, but it is difficult for them to set the personal relationship aside. You’re still their buddy, BFF, cousin or sister/brother.
Always remember, business is business and friendship is friendship. It you are thinking about hiring this year, make sure you hire smart. Find the person who has the right job skills and experience to help your business grow.
Failing to do Your Homework
One of the first steps any business owner should take before launching or expanding a new business, or product or service offering, is to research the market. Success depends on analyzing the opportunity to determine whether there is a viable opportunity. You simply can’t force the market to embrace your business no matter how fabulous you think your product or service is.
Playing Banker to Your Customers
No business owner wants to badger a client or customer because of late payments. You want to maintain your relationship, yet the bottom line is you need to get paid. After all, you aren’t the bank or a charitable organization.
If you permit a customer to fall months and months behind, then shame on you. You’re putting your entire business operations at risk. Once a customer starts falling behind you need to address the situation immediately. In fact, if the customer is having serious financial difficulties, you may need to make the decision to stop doing work until the customer catches up.